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  • FIRST POST
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 15th Mar 16, 9:12 AM
    • 1,735Posts
    • 13,594Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    It's not a lot, but it's enough
    • #1
    • 15th Mar 16, 9:12 AM
    It's not a lot, but it's enough 15th Mar 16 at 9:12 AM
    Good day to you all.

    Can I start by saying I feel a bit embarrassed about starting this diary. Not because of my debt, but because in comparison to other peoples situation I seem to be in a better position to clear it. However Iíve been considering starting a diary like this for a while as I feel itís really been getting me down, like thereís a huge black cloud following me everywhere I go. I feel I think about money Ė or more specifically my debt - all day, every day, and hopefully having a place to come and post of my attempts to reduce it will help keep my chin up and motivate me.

    A bit about me. Iím 25 and I live with my mum for now and I have a steady and comfortable paying job. I was in a relationship for 8 years and we had a joint savings account with a view to buy a place. When that relationship ended, I went off the rails. I blew my half of the savings while at the same time took out a credit card telling myself Iíll use it to increase my credit score by only using it to buy petrol and paying back at the end of every month. That didnít go to plan. I know have 2 credit cards (just recently paid off my third); Tesco Credit Card - £2,614.19 and Barclaycard - £693.88. Both of which are 0% interest for now.

    The thing is, I know that my debt is manageable. Iím not spiralling out of control with interest. I donít have a mortgage. I donít have any kids. My expenditure is relatively low. I can and I will do this!

    Although this is a Debt Free Diary, I have a view for this to become a Saving Diary once Iíve cleared these cards. I want to feel the way I felt 3 years ago with no debt and thus no worries. To be happy again.

    My plan to clear this debt was originally to still try and maintain an element of my lifestyle that got me into this mess while being sensible. At the end of each month, any remaining money in my account would be transferred to my credit cards, this is already on top of my direct debits to meet the minimum repayments. However I found that this technique gave me too long a leash and I wasnít being tight enough. This month I actually have a stag do in Amsterdam (paid for by said credit cards) and with no savings, I had to use money from this months wages for spending money, leaving me skint for the remainder of the month, but goes to show that I can stow away a large chunk at the start of the month and force me to make the sacrifices. So thatís the plan, so put away a sizeable amount at the start of each month, the day I get paid.

    Thank you for reading and appreciate the support.

    Peace and Love!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
Page 2
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 8th Apr 16, 9:09 AM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Morning 

    It’s my cousins 30th tonight. She’s having everyone over to the house in a 1920’s theme. So bought a bowler hat (£4) and a fake moustache (£1) and I’ll put on my black suit and braces too, should be a good laugh. My GF is driving so I may have a drink to celebrate the occasion but nothing too crazy.

    A good friend of mine is a boxer and he’s fighting this Saturday in the O2 Arena!! So all the lads are getting together to support him. I’d budgeted £50 for a night out this weekend as I knew the fight was coming up and I’m confident I’ll spend well under. I am also due to collect new work trousers from M&S that I bought for £4.99 which I saw on the sale thanks to the newsletter from MSE.

    I have zero plans for Sunday so it’ll no doubt be spent with the GF and determined to make it a NSD.

    Have a good Friday/weekend.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 11th Apr 16, 9:38 AM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Good morning,

    I had a busy weekend however managed to keep spending to a minimal.

    Friday was my cousins wife's 30th birthday party in which I spent maybe £30, plus £15 on her present and £4 on fancy dress. Which, when trying to get out debt is still £49 that could've been saved, however it's a huge reduction on what I would have spent 6 months ago and I still need to live life.

    Saturday my friend has an important boxing match as mentioned previously, so all the boys got together to watch and support him. £10 for dinner (as my friend won a chunk in the grand national and paid most of the bill) and probably £30-£40 for the remainder of the night including a taxi home.

    Sunday was a NSD and I went to the gym for a leisurely swim, steam room and Jacuzzi which always helps to focus my mind on my immediate plans. Spent the night with my GF catching up on TV and had a lovely family dinner. I had another YNAB seminar on managing you credit cards so I feel super motivated to save.

    The £4.99 trousers I bought in the M&S sale were collected on Saturday too and I'd go as far as to say they're the best pair I have!! Comfortable and stylish, very impressed.

    Need to buy some milk, otherwise it'd be NSD (damn!). I'll check back in tomorrow.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 12th Apr 16, 9:00 AM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Went to the supermarket yesterday to buy for the week ahead. This should mean that I won’t have to spend any money until Saturday or hopefully Sunday!

    My money to do list;
    - Sell stuff on ebay
    - Sort HTB ISA
    - Buy YNAB

    Aiming to get all of these done soon, although I’m still on my YNAB free trial for another 3 weeks or so.

    Have a good day!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 15th Apr 16, 9:16 AM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Been a busy man since I posted last, but Iíve not forgotten about this diary.

    I was offered a ticket for the Old Firm (£28) which I couldnít turn down. No fan of either side of Glasgow could. I can afford it, Iíve money still budgeted in YNAB for things like that, so itís relatively guilt free. Iíll need to keep a cap on other expenditure on the day to make sure it doesnít snowball.

    I racked up 4 NSDís this week, with the other 2 days for silly things like milk. You hear of shopaholics who love spending money, Iíve now trained myself to love not spending it. To lie in my bed at night knowing I spend not a penny during the day and I didnít have live under a rock for the day, Iím still working, going to the gym, seeing friends, spending time with my GF etc.

    Speaking of YNAB, Iím still getting to grips with it. The balance on my YNAB was different from my bank account, however it seems to be down to me withdrawing cash. Still need to get a better understanding of it. Itís only been a couple of weeks, need to give myself a break.

    Iíve also created a to-do list to tackle on Saturday which includes ebaying stuff, bet I donít get round to it.

    Lastly, as part of the NST Challenge on here I was forced to do some sums which was great to see;

    How far have I come?

    At its worst = £3,979.73 (December 2015)
    Currently = £2,920.66
    How much have I paid off? £1,059.07 (in 4 months)
    Percentage; 26%
    I can honestly say I couldnít have done it without this website, having this diary and the support from various other threads. Quarter of the way there in only 4 months!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • enjoyyourshoes
    • By enjoyyourshoes 15th Apr 16, 9:41 AM
    • 730 Posts
    • 910 Thanks
    enjoyyourshoes
    Hi
    good luck with the journey.
    Get saving with the help to but ISA great plan.

    Spend 30 seconds daily keeping a running total for your bank account (font rely on the balance they give you as there are always items 'pending' !) Also account for every CC purchase against your bank account, thus when the bill arrives you pay it off immediately. (this doc can be as simple as a hand written extension to your monthly bank account summary or an excel doc whatever gets you going really.

    Spend 30 minutes each month consolidating bank balance with your own daily sheet. Also check your annualised bills and any DD are still current and the best value. Use MSE for the advice on best value.

    Another 30 minutes.annually plan your major expenses (annual like car insurance (don't pay monthly as they charge your interest), rates, utilities, life insurance, MOT car etc) Then do a cash flow to calculate how much you need to save monthly in order to pay for all this known stuff, then set up highest interest account and DD this amount from your bank account (and accrue for this each month with your spreadsheet/pen and paper). Diarise when there payments come to end and plan a month before to use MSE to get the next best deal and amend your cash flow when you have renegotiated the next deal.

    So its 30, 30, 30 !
    30 seconds daily reconciling your seeping
    30 minutes monthly reconciling bank account Vs your daily check
    30 minutes annually getting the big stuff sorted.

    Then in-between all that, work out what you want to get from LIFE, and work out how your £ will get you there. Set this as a clear objective (SMART--, measurable etc etc), write it down, tell your Mum and Dad, tell us on MSE. This commits you. And live the dream within your own financial envelope debt free. Start benefiting fro compound interest instead of being chained by them.

    Make sure you don't spend on your 0% CC, and set up DD to pay off balance in full before the expiry of the deal.
    Debt is a symptom, solve the problem.
    • endoftheostricheffect
    • By endoftheostricheffect 15th Apr 16, 10:00 AM
    • 35 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    endoftheostricheffect
    Hi SpekySquarehead!
    Ive just started my debtfree diary too! And too am in the 20's! Changes afoot!
    Well done on starting you journey! Ill be here- and subscribed!
    Savings: 1,500 3,000/ 10,000 Debt: 4319.78 4000/8,500
    Barclaycard- 431.31
    Natwest- 3568.69

    £71/62 Pound Jar to be paid to my ISA monthly!
    'Either you run the day, or the day runs you!
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 15th Apr 16, 10:25 AM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Hi SpekySquarehead!
    Ive just started my debtfree diary too! And too am in the 20's! Changes afoot!
    Well done on starting you journey! Ill be here- and subscribed!
    Originally posted by endoftheostricheffect
    Thanks for looking and welcome!

    I found setting up a diary really helped motivate me to save as Iím publicly displaying what I spend, when, how much, why etc. That openness and vulnerability has encouraged me to really watch what Iím doing on needless spending.

    In our 20ís we still need to live life! Which is why I donít grudge spending money on nights out etc.

    All the best in your quest to become debt free. Iíll also be following!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 18th Apr 16, 1:08 PM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Hi
    good luck with the journey.
    Get saving with the help to but ISA great plan.

    Spend 30 seconds daily keeping a running total for your bank account (font rely on the balance they give you as there are always items 'pending' !) Also account for every CC purchase against your bank account, thus when the bill arrives you pay it off immediately. (this doc can be as simple as a hand written extension to your monthly bank account summary or an excel doc whatever gets you going really.

    Spend 30 minutes each month consolidating bank balance with your own daily sheet. Also check your annualised bills and any DD are still current and the best value. Use MSE for the advice on best value.

    Another 30 minutes.annually plan your major expenses (annual like car insurance (don't pay monthly as they charge your interest), rates, utilities, life insurance, MOT car etc) Then do a cash flow to calculate how much you need to save monthly in order to pay for all this known stuff, then set up highest interest account and DD this amount from your bank account (and accrue for this each month with your spreadsheet/pen and paper). Diarise when there payments come to end and plan a month before to use MSE to get the next best deal and amend your cash flow when you have renegotiated the next deal.

    So its 30, 30, 30 !
    30 seconds daily reconciling your seeping
    30 minutes monthly reconciling bank account Vs your daily check
    30 minutes annually getting the big stuff sorted.

    Then in-between all that, work out what you want to get from LIFE, and work out how your £ will get you there. Set this as a clear objective (SMART--, measurable etc etc), write it down, tell your Mum and Dad, tell us on MSE. This commits you. And live the dream within your own financial envelope debt free. Start benefiting fro compound interest instead of being chained by them.

    Make sure you don't spend on your 0% CC, and set up DD to pay off balance in full before the expiry of the deal.
    Originally posted by enjoyyourshoes
    For some reason I'm just noticing this post, thank you! Some very helpful advice there which I will definitely take on board.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 18th Apr 16, 1:25 PM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Catching up from weekend, so here it goes.

    Friday Ė I looked over my YNAB and compared that to what is in my bank and theyíre out. Canít figure out why so Iíll start a fresh at the end of this month. I was invited to a charity dinner which was all paid for, however it being a charity do meant I felt obliged to put in £10 for the raffle plus taxiís there and back was nearly £20. In hindsight, I shouldíve gave it a miss.

    Saturday Ė A relaxed day nursing my sore head. Bought some items from SM to tide me over for the week ensuring my spending is minimal.

    Sunday Ė Old Firm day. I would recon I spent £25-£30 (excluding ticket). Had a great day with my friends so was well worth it.

    Today I stare at my bank balance of £76 and the £65 I have in my wallet. If I allow for £40 to fill my car up with petrol at some point this week thatíll leave me plenty. I have an engagement party on Saturday however itís my GFs turn to buy the gift. Iíll take out a set amount and make sure I donít over spend.

    With 10 days till payday, Iím going to say in black in white Iíll aim for 6 NSDís. The three days I intend to spend are today (forgot my lunch), tomorrow for a trip to the driving range, petrol on Thursday for trip to Loch Lommond and Saturday for the party.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • Steerpike88
    • By Steerpike88 18th Apr 16, 2:17 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 168 Thanks
    Steerpike88
    Hey, just read your diary. We used to live in Glasgow until I was 25 then we moved to NZ. Hate it here, but I don't live in a big city. Moving back to Scotland at the end of the year.

    In general your wage doesn't go as far in NZ because of expensive food, clothes, household goods, etc. But if you're ok with your money anyway and like a quieter (MUCH quieter) lifestyle then it's really lovely here. Running a car is much cheaper though!



    • endoftheostricheffect
    • By endoftheostricheffect 18th Apr 16, 2:18 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    endoftheostricheffect
    Hope you enjoyed your weekend! Well done on planning the spendy days!
    Savings: 1,500 3,000/ 10,000 Debt: 4319.78 4000/8,500
    Barclaycard- 431.31
    Natwest- 3568.69

    £71/62 Pound Jar to be paid to my ISA monthly!
    'Either you run the day, or the day runs you!
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 18th Apr 16, 2:27 PM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Hey, just read your diary. We used to live in Glasgow until I was 25 then we moved to NZ. Hate it here, but I don't live in a big city. Moving back to Scotland at the end of the year.

    In general your wage doesn't go as far in NZ because of expensive food, clothes, household goods, etc. But if you're ok with your money anyway and like a quieter (MUCH quieter) lifestyle then it's really lovely here. Running a car is much cheaper though!
    Originally posted by Steerpike88
    I've had a few friends who moved over there actually. Difference is they love it! There are pro's and con's to living anywhere. I must say, i think the better weather would be a huge pro for me. You'll know what I'm talking about when I see we have no summer here

    Hope you enjoyed your weekend! Well done on planning the spendy days!
    Originally posted by endoftheostricheffect
    Thank you. I did indeed. I could've been super frugal and MSE and not left the house for the weekend, but that's not living. We all need to have some fun and let our hair down, particularly at our age
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 19th Apr 16, 9:57 AM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    So my step-brothers wedding is now becoming Ďrealí. Weíre looking at flights, hotels and ultimately costs. Looks like the trip will cost £2,000 not including spending money, so for now the overpayment towards my debt is put on hold and Iíll just continue to meet my minimum payments. In the meantime, Iíll put a chunk of money into a savings account for this trip.

    The decision to go or not has really torn me and it pains me either way. Itís lose-lose. I either go to the wedding and my debt remains or I donít go and miss out on the wedding. The frugal amongst us will say thatís a no brainer however thereís some family politics which mean I feel obliged. Priorities have changed.

    In other more positive news; I got through to the next stage with the job I applied for! Plus is turns out I know the girl in HR, so thatís another thing going in my favour. Not only is the job a step up in the career ladder, the salary is £5k higher than what Iím on. Or an extra £347 in bank after tax. Ideal!

    Keep you posted 
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • endoftheostricheffect
    • By endoftheostricheffect 19th Apr 16, 1:06 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    endoftheostricheffect
    Oooo! Good luck!
    Savings: 1,500 3,000/ 10,000 Debt: 4319.78 4000/8,500
    Barclaycard- 431.31
    Natwest- 3568.69

    £71/62 Pound Jar to be paid to my ISA monthly!
    'Either you run the day, or the day runs you!
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 22nd Apr 16, 4:33 PM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Yesterday was a cracker! 20 degree heat playing golf. Technically I was Ďworkingí but it didnít feel like it. Iím actually sunburnt which is hard to believe, I know. Spent £20 which unfortunately wonít be going on expenses.

    Iíve been drawing up a to-do list on my phone that Iíll tackle when I can, hopefully this weekend but as ever itíll no doubt get pushed back.

    One things for sure, my spending for the engagement party will be kept tight. No disappearing to go and lift more money. Whatís in my wallet is it. Once itís gone, itís gone.

    It is 2 of my colleagues birthdays next week so we done a collection. We are a small team and we all get on so well, so my standard input was £10, regardless if it was my boss, the receptionist or the girl at the desk behind me. However, with birthdays coming thick and fast, Iíll end up spending close to £200 over a year!! So Iíve halved it to £5 for gifts going forward.

    Another thing MSE has taught me is to plan ahead. This year Iíve already bought 2 things for my GFís birthday or Xmas, so Iím always keeping my eyes peeled for sales going on (usually in Martins weekly email). If you see anything a girly girl in her mid twenties would like and itís on sale Ė let me know!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 25th Apr 16, 9:09 AM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    The end is near and payday is 4 days away!!

    I (hope to) have enough petrol in my car to last until then Ė Iíll need to be extra safe to keep the MPG high. The engagement party was on Saturday and all the money I budgeted was spent. Was a good night seeing lots of friends, so itís guilt free.

    This morning on my way into work I listened to 2 very interesting podcasts;

    1 Ė YNAB episode 220
    They guy spoke of how he has organised a huge, no expense spared, break for all of YNABís staff. And they managed this by saving for 18 months, so itís guilt free! I like the sound of that and it really helped motivate me to do the same for when the wedding comes in January.

    2 Ė Debt Free Story with Jessica Garbarino
    The woman in question here really had a story I could sympathise with. She was in £57k of debt, starting chipping away then lost her job, so had to try and find the motivation again. She went at it head first and cleared it over a couple of years but the part that really stuck with me was her describing the feeling of now waking up with no debt and a little bit saved for emergencies and how itís changed her life. Thereís a huge weight off her shoulders. Imagine?? I canít wait to feel that way.

    For those here who donít listen to podcasts, I would recommend it. Iím a newbie to the podcast scene but I listen to it to and from work as opposed to the same old music, day in, day out. I just searched ďmoneyĒ or ďdebtĒ into the search bar of my podcast section. Costs nothing, so what have you got to lose.

    Have a good day
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • Littlebirdie
    • By Littlebirdie 25th Apr 16, 5:23 PM
    • 189 Posts
    • 273 Thanks
    Littlebirdie
    The end is near and payday is 4 days away!!

    I (hope to) have enough petrol in my car to last until then Ė Iíll need to be extra safe to keep the MPG high. The engagement party was on Saturday and all the money I budgeted was spent. Was a good night seeing lots of friends, so itís guilt free.

    This morning on my way into work I listened to 2 very interesting podcasts;

    1 Ė YNAB episode 220
    They guy spoke of how he has organised a huge, no expense spared, break for all of YNABís staff. And they managed this by saving for 18 months, so itís guilt free! I like the sound of that and it really helped motivate me to do the same for when the wedding comes in January.

    2 Ė Debt Free Story with Jessica Garbarino
    The woman in question here really had a story I could sympathise with. She was in £57k of debt, starting chipping away then lost her job, so had to try and find the motivation again. She went at it head first and cleared it over a couple of years but the part that really stuck with me was her describing the feeling of now waking up with no debt and a little bit saved for emergencies and how itís changed her life. Thereís a huge weight off her shoulders. Imagine?? I canít wait to feel that way.

    For those here who donít listen to podcasts, I would recommend it. Iím a newbie to the podcast scene but I listen to it to and from work as opposed to the same old music, day in, day out. I just searched ďmoneyĒ or ďdebtĒ into the search bar of my podcast section. Costs nothing, so what have you got to lose.

    Have a good day
    Originally posted by SpekySquarehead
    Hey,

    Great idea about the podcasts. When you said you entered words into the podcast section ...do you mean on Itunes?

    Thanks
    To staying out of debt!
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 26th Apr 16, 2:05 PM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Hey,

    Great idea about the podcasts. When you said you entered words into the podcast section ...do you mean on Itunes?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by Littlebirdie
    Hi there! Thanks for swinging by.

    Yeah I just searched the key words of "money" and "debt". Most seems to be American but are helpful nonetheless as well as the money podcast on BBC Radio 5 Live which our very own Martin usually features on
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 28th Apr 16, 2:44 PM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Payday today!

    Similar to last month, Iíve downloaded a statement to see a comparison in expenditure. Not as smooth as Iíd like given my bank switch on the 4th. What is clear to see is that I can reduce my spending the funds dry up as was the case this month with a few one off high spends;

    Petrol - £120
    Canít be precise as one top up fell inbetween the bank switch. However, there was no huge jouneys to drink the petrol.

    Debt - £412.88
    My 2 minimum payments plus a lump of £350 on my biggest debt. This was a huge part as to why I struggled to the end of the month.

    Cash - £350.00
    Not a true reflection on my spend though as I bought tickets with cash and my friends transferred the money. A more realistic figure would be £220, which is a tenner less than last month.

    Avoidable - £172.90
    £104 of this was to cover costs for the trip with work to Liverpool. A good month in my eyes.

    On top of the above, I had £150 to pay for my TV with my last instalment this month. A tight month but I learned some valuable lessons in that I can get by and cut my cloth accordingly.

    The month ahead, Iíve a stag doo in Newcastle. I could see it far enough but itís my GFís brother, feel obliged. Out with that Iíve no big days planned, thank goodness. When I get the time, Iíll start my membership with YNAB for $5 a month, not sure what that is in sterling.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 2nd May 16, 9:16 AM
    • 1,735 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Yesterday was a NSD as will today. Tomorrow should be too however I'll have parking to pay for my interview £8 for 2 hours!!! I'll do some searching tonight to see if I can find some free parking close by, however there is a concert on so chances are slim!

    Only spent £12.60 on Saturday in getting a train into Glasgow which is good news. Determined to keep all my receipts and update YNAB to ensure that it’s always up to date and matches what's actually in my account. I think I'll do weekly catch ups to make sure that's the case.

    I've a stag do this weekend in Newcastle which, as ever, I'll do on a budget as best as I can.

    It's my best friends sons 2nd birthday so I'll buy him a little thing.

    I've a golf trip on the 14th which is with a friends voucher so I'll buy him lunch to say thanks.

    Lastly, I've a boxing dinner later in the month, which falls on payday actually. As I'm taken as a guest, I recon drinks will be covered for the night so I'll try and blag transport to and from, otherwise a taxi back at that late hour could cost £30.

    That's my social calander for the month. I wanted to write them down in back and which to show where potential expenditure will come from. Outwith this I'll have petrol and groceries mow that I paid all my direct debits.

    ANNNDDD... I phoned both Barclaycard and Tesco to change the date of my direct debit to the start of the month and Tesco advised me that it was no longer 0% interest. I'll change that tonight and apply for a balance transfer.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
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